Using a List to Build a Direct Marketing Network

Direct marketing can be an extremely powerful tool. It can serve an array of different marketing purposes and can provide a powerful call to action. Building a direct marketing network can offer many advantages. It gives businesses the opportunity to identify and reach out to potential consumers while maintaining a strong relationship with currently existing customers. A direct marketing network is an essential building block in the infrastructure of direct selling. It can be an effective tool that can be used by businesses of all sizes.

A direct marketing network should target specific demographics of existing or potential consumers. In order to build this network, businesses need to identify their core consumer groups. The circle of influence cast by the shadow of direct marketing networks should be large enough to cover existing and potential consumers without being exceedingly expensive. A direct marketing network should not include demographics that stray too far from that of the potential consumer.

Direct marketing relies on targeting the correct consumer. The adage “less is more” applies here. Direct marketing networks are designed to target a smaller group of consumers who are more likely to purchase your product or service. Direct selling can be used to grow a market and create demand but it should not be used as such as it is not as cost effective as other marketing tools in this area.

Once you have identified your consumer, you could consult a consumer list before crafting your message. Consumer lists usually contain the residential address and telephone numbers of consumers. Using these lists allows you to calculate the amount of consumers you may want to reach out to. Understanding consumer behavior is a valuable tool that can give you an edge in your industry. By marrying this understanding with the substantial resources of consumer lists, you produce a direct selling network with great potential.

For some businesses, it can be difficult to ascertain the type of consumers that they should target. This process becomes increasingly difficult when the direct selling budget is low and the potential range of consumers is high. To avert this problem, you may want to consider getting the consumer list first.

Businesses that have minimal information on the consumer landscape would best be served by a simple consumer list. A consumer list can provide strong indications on how big a campaign you may have to plan for maximum effectiveness. This information is especially pertinent for small and medium sized enterprises that have smaller direct selling budgets. The potential size of the market is an important consideration in formulating a direct selling campaign. It is important to pace your efforts accordingly.

Ignorance of your consumer base can be catastrophic. This ignorance can create a myriad of problems for your direct selling campaign. You could possibly target the wrong type of consumer or the duration of your direct selling campaign might be insufficient. If you target too wide a demographic, you lose financial stamina before you are able to fulfill your campaign objectives. Targeting too small a demographic may result in a higher cost-per thousand (CPM) rating.

An exemplary direct selling network is able to find a ‘Goldilocks-like’ range of consumers; a sample size that is not too big or too small. The next time you plan your direct selling campaign, take a cue from these networks and conduct the appropriate research first.

Effective Digital Marketing: Too Good To Miss

Everyone from the average consumer to the marketing departments of Fortune 100 companies are going digital. With this in mind, a digital marketing strategy is essential for any company that wishes to have longevity in their market. Consumers are increasingly partaking in commerce from mobile devices and are also becoming more comfortable with the impulsive nature that these devices tend to accentuate. This is good news for companies with the right digital marketing strategy.

Below are five tips for effective digital marketing.

1. Social media is king.

Any long term digital marketing strategy will include a comprehensive social media presence. Facebook alone accounts for a full one fourth of total clicks which are performed by internet browsers in the US.

Social media gives you the ability to connect with your audience in real time like no medium before it. One way to think of it is this:

Any offline promotion or communication has an online component. To maximize your business presence online, each of the ways that you promote and advertise offline should be done online as well. Online will reach more people, and cost less. For instance:

Twitter is a great place to offer coupons, or if your business is appointment based, inform customers about last minute cancellations to keep your customer flow high. Facebook is a wonderful place to post pictures of your customers with you in the office. Nothing says “recommendation” quite like a smiling photo, which gives a tacit recommendation to anyone who views it. There are many other ways to use social media, but the main thing to remember is to connect all of the various pages you will be creating, and to have different sorts of information on each page.

2. Blogging is the other king.

To keep your business in the top of the minds of your customers, there is no better activity than blogging. Blogging can keep your audience abreast of happenings in your industry, in your business specifically, and make you known as an expert in the field. People gravitate towards experts, and it gives your business instant gravitas without having to hard sell. It also shows the personality of your business.

3. Keep your web copy poignant and simple.

Ever since the Google Panda update, search engine optimization is more human than ever. No longer will search engines list a site well based on a single metric in a vacuum. Top web sites are the ones that give the best overall experience.

In terms of web copy, that means keeping it simple. There are still some technical nuances to know, such as putting keywords in headers, in the first sentence, and using the free resources that are readily available online to find adjunct keywords to flesh out your copy with.

However, for the most part, your web copy should be written to a human audience, not for a search engine spider. Professional with a sense of humor is never wrong. Make sure that the text drives your customers to a single call of action.

4. Email strategy.

Direct email still works. Make sure that you are keen to the nuances of the new email systems. For instance, many email clients give a preview window on mouse-over before the email is ever opened. If your customer base is receiving a newsletter from you, are they seeing an attractive title or headline in the preview screen, or a confusing block of text or half of an image that is too large? Things like this can make the difference between a sale and an opt out message.

5. Retention and remarketing.

There are now marketing programs offered that can place targeted ads for your business in front of customers who visited your web site but did not buy. This particular technique is known as remarketing, and is one of the highest ROI activities available on the market today.

This type of marketing also helps in retention efforts, as people are naturally inclined to feel buyer’s remorse if they buy something which immediately ceases to be promoted. Letting old customers see that the product or service they bought is still relevant will keep them happy with your business, and they will happily buy updated versions and new products from you.

Digital Marketing although no longer in its’ infancy is still quite new to many businesses, so make sure you get ahead of the crowd by finding a digital marketing agency, or in the worst case, starting to catch up!

Most Used Direct Marketing Metrics

The general rule for any marketing program is that it must generate leads and eventually sales. And businesses engaged in direct selling will utilize direct marketing metrics, which are practically the same metrics used by other businesses, to measure the effectiveness of their marketing activities. They will have cost per head, lifetime value, average, and others.

There are many methods that direct marketers can utilize to assist the sales force. The Internet has been very useful in disseminating product information and making offers. Internet advertising campaigns through e-mails are getting popular nowadays, definitely superior to the traditional distribution of leaflets, brochures, and other mediums. However, they have to compile a mailing list first. The quality of the mailing list, of course, affects response rates, just like the quality of offer, the creativity of presentation, and other factors do. The response rate as a reliable direct marketing metric is viewed by some marketers with skepticism.

Many direct marketers prefer cost per head metrics. Cost per head directly relates to sales generation. There are, however, some ongoing arguments among them on what base to use in computing the cost per head ratios for specific marketing campaigns. Should the number of generated sales leads be used or the actual sales determined to come from the qualified leads plus the leads the sales force are working on? Actually, both will do as the marketers and the sales force work for the same objective – consummate sales. There must be consistency in the application of either method, however, to avoid confusion and make results useless for predicting and monitoring trends.

Another useful direct marketing metric is inquiry-to-lead conversion ratio. In this method, initial inquiries by customers are determined whether they are qualified leads by two factors: quality of inquiry and precision of the criteria for qualification. The criteria for qualification factor judges the inquiry based on a set of criteria developed in coordination with the sales force and should prove stable over time.

The marketer will set high hopes on the first factor. The quality of inquiries can be affected by a number of things from the mail list itself to the offers made. Initial inquiries tell marketers if adjustments should be made in the marketing strategies and methods.

Leads are expected to result to sales. For marketers, this is a very crucial point of the campaign. A low rate will raise questions on the quality of leads generated by the campaign, although they can counter by saying that the problem is not with the leads, but with the sales force. This metric can help shed light on whose shoulders responsibility should fall.

Direct marketers need to establish with finality the effectiveness of the campaign. For this purpose, the expense – to – revenue is a direct marketing metric that is usually used. It has other useful uses, such as assessing campaigns against each and establishing benchmarks for future marketing activities.

Direct marketing metrics allows marketers to gauge the value of their work to the over-all business of earning profits. As if to highlight this importance, a variety of marketing metrics has been developed and surely, others will follow, but choosing just a few of them for their ability to provide the most accurate should be sufficient.